Ok, so I have to tell you all this really cool story.
The agency that "pioneered" Embryo Adoption is located really close to Biola (where DH and I attended college). So because of their geographical proximity and my interest in bioethics and such, we've known about EA and about Nightlight (the Agency) for a long time. Long before we ever knew of our infertility, we had filed EA away as something really cool and something we might like to do someday.
That was just one of the many foundational blocks God was laying in our hearts already. When DH and I started to seriously consider our options over the last few months, EA immediately came to mind. We had actually made up our minds a few weeks ago that that was the option we were most excited about but we couldn't really "confirm" it until we had the door closed on natural conception. In the mean time, I contacted the agency and we received the application and we've been setting aside money. Last night that confirmation came and we began to share our decision with friends and family.
Today I called a local Christian adoption agency in town that I had worked with when I worked in the Pro-Life field. Because we live out of state from the Embryo Adoption Agency, we have to find an adoption agency here that will do the homestudy and then send it to Nightlight. I asked the gal at the Arizona Agency if they'd ever done EA and she didn't know. She had me leave a message for someone who would know.
In the mean time I called Nightlight and asked if they'd done any successful placements with Arizona people and if so, which agencies were willing to do the Arizona end? To my surprise, she gave me a list of 6 agencies! So there are at least 6 Arizona Snowflake families (out of only a couple hundred total, worldwide!) I asked her if any of those families had volunteered to help any prospective Arizonans also interested in the process. She didn't know and asked me to leave a message with someone else.
Shortly after that call, the Arizona Agency called back. She said they had worked with a couple to do EA and that she still knew the couple quite well. She also said that in fact, they were in the office just today! Before I could even ask, she offered that she was sure the couple would love to meet with us! She took down our contact information and said she'd pass it on to them. She gave me their first names so that I would recognize the names if they called. The woman's name is a little bit uncommon--uncommon enough that it's unusual you'd run in to two people in the same day with that name. I looked at their adoption profile on the agency website and loved reading their story. They've adopted through both EA and domestic infant adoption so they've seen both sides of the adoption coin! How cool, especially since we hope to do both eventually, too!
I ventured on over to my IF message board where I check in almost daily. I went to an area of the board for EA people. It was a new area for me with different people than I usually bump in to. Imagine my surprise when there was a thread by a user with the same name as this woman! I thought "Surely this must be the same woman!" I read her story and it was! Sadly though, she had left the board and though I could read her posts, I couldn't contact her through the board. I posted the cool coincidence. One of her friends is still active on the board and gave me the lady's blog and website address. I emailed her through her website and just shared the events of today with her and told her that her story and her family's mere presence in the state and successful completion of the same process encouraged us!
She's already written back and she's MORE than willing to chat with us! As it turns out, her family was the first family in the state of Arizona to do snowflake adoption and I can only imagine that the process has gotten easier since then as they've ironed out kinks, so if anyone's the expert, it's her! I'm so thrilled!
We also got the news that assuming we're accepted and our background check checks out and they verify we're who we say we are and we're not criminals ;) this agency WILL do a homestudy again. They're very willing to work with Nightlight again. And, their homestudy fee is 1/3 of what we thought it would be (Nightlight gives a range estimate and we planned for the highest number of that range thinking anything less would be a great surprise). And the time the process takes is 1/2 the time we thought. The homestudy should only take about 3 months once we start it! We had read 3-6 months so we planned for 6! She's sending us an application and we'll turn it in as soon as we can!
We're so excited. It's just so neat to see all these things falling in to place already, one day after this became "official."